This Soviet-produced film discusses hydroelectricpower and dams, and shows how they generate electricity for the nation as well as reservoirs of fresh water.
Narrator: Dnepr and Don, Volga, Ob, Yenisei and Lena, there are so many powerful rivers in our country. Their waters flow down from mountains and heights to seas and oceans. It happens because a riverbed has a slope. Water does work flowing down the stream. (01.18) For centuries, the enormous energy of rivers had been wasted. People began obstructing river courses with dams. The water preserved in front of the dam stores potential energy. Water is capable of doing work when falling from a height. The amount of work equals the product of the weight of falling water by the height of the fall. (02.07) Our distant ancestors constructed waterwheels for mills, forges, and other needs. But a waterwheel is a very imperfect and low-powered drive. Nowadays, we use energy of big rivers with the help of the most innovative technical means. (02.43) The water’s way is obstructed by high concrete dams. Its potential energy turns into kinetic. To use kinetic energy, hydraulic turbine is constructed in the way of a powerful stream of water. (03.15) Water flows into a spiral chamber. It enters the inner chamber of the turbine through the wicket gate; a water wheel is located there. The spiral chamber and guide vanes create a swirling water current in the wheel of the turbine. (03.48) It is possible to change the amount of flowing water by changing the angle of the guide vanes, the current could be fully stopped. The turbine wheel, which is located inside of the wicket gate, has curved vanes. Water current goes radially into the center of the wheel and then axially down. This is why the turbine of such a design is called radial-axial. (04.40) An experiment with a tube curved as vanes will help us understand how water sets the turbine wheel to motion. Reaction force also affects the vanes of the wheel and makes it turn. (05.33) All in all, water under pressure is delivered to the wheel of the turbine and gives it almost all of the kinetic energy is possesses. Having done the work, water comes out at low speed into the downstream of the river. Modern turbines use more than 90% of the kinetic energy of the water current. Radial-axial turbines are used if the pressure is 30-300 m and higher. If the pressure head is small, under 80 m, adjustable-blade propeller turbines are used. They are called this way because the blades of the wheel of such a turbine can be turned, their angle towards the water current may be adjusted. (06.41) The water current also comes through a wicket gate, as in radial-axial turbines. Then the direction of the current is set at the sloping blades of the wheel. Reaction force appears and turns the wheel. It is possible to control the power of the turbine by adjusting the blades. If the slope is great, more water flows through it. Reaction force increases. If the slope is smaller, reaction force decreases. (07.16) If the blades are positioned horizontally, the turbine stops. This is how an adjustable-blade propeller turbine works. Hydraulic turbines are installed at water power plants. They set to motion generators that produce electricity. Hundreds of hydraulic turbines are being built in the Soviet Union for small and large water power plants. (08.00) The largest turbines in the world are built at a Leningrad Metal Plant. These are the details of the turbine that is going to be installed at Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station, the biggest water power station in the world nowadays. Its capacity is more than 3.5 million kW. An even bigger water power plant is being constructed on Yenisei, the Krasnoyarsk Dam. Its project capacity is 5-6 million kW. Water energy is often called ‘the white coal’. It sets to motion hydraulic turbines and makes it possible to produce the cheapest electricity for the national economy. (09.20)
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